Discrimination in education can take many forms. At Education Lawyers, we can help if your child or young person has experienced disability discrimination while at school, sixth-form college, further education and higher education (university-level).
The Equality Act 2010 in England and Wales is the legislation that applies to discrimination. Discrimination usually means treating someone with a “protected characteristic” worse, or less favourably, than someone in the same situation without that same characteristic would be treated.
“Protected characteristics” refers to sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, age or marriage/civil partnership.
What counts as discrimination?
There are three categories of duty:
- not to discriminate in admissions arrangements and practices;
- not to discriminate in the provision of education and access to benefits, facilities and services;
- to make ‘reasonable adjustments’.
The Equality Act 2010 makes it against the law for an educational setting to discriminate against, harass or victimise a student attending the educational establishment concerned, a potential student or a former student. It also includes indirect discrimination and discrimination based on perception and association.
What can I do?
First of all, if you or your child have been discriminated against, you should make a complaint to the relevant responsible body.
If you are not happy with the response or there is no response, you can take further action by launching proceedings to the First Tier Tribunal to get redress. We can support you from early on, even from making your initial complaint if you wish.
We will discuss your case in detail, advise on the best way to proceed to get the outcome that you want and can represent you at the First Tier Tribunal if the case proceeds to a hearing.
Read our frequently asked questions about disability discrimination in education.